William Gunning King was a painter, etcher and illustrator, expecially of rural themes. He was probably the brother of the portrait, figure and landscape painter Edward R. King.
King studied at South Kensington and at the Royal Academy Schools. He exhibited regularly in London at the Royal Academy, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, New Gallery, New English Art Club and Society of British Artists, the latter society which elected JW its President in 1886. He also exhibited at the Beaux-Arts Gallery, Royal Scottish Academy, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham, Manchester City Art Gallery and Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. His illustrated work appeared in Punch the Graphic and the Windsor Magazine. In 1887, he was elected a member of the New English Art Club, the year before JW exhibited with the group.
In 1889 King was amongst those proposed guests to a dinner organised by W. C. Symons to congratulate JW on becoming an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Munich, a dinner which was to be held at the Criterion in Piccadilly on 1 May (#00631).
Johnson, J., and A. Gruetzner, Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge, 1980; Wood, Christopher, Victorian Painters, 2 vols., 3rd ed., revised, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1995; Price, R.G.G., A History of Punch London, 1957, p. 158; Houfe, Simon, Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists 1800-1914, London 1981; http://www.getty.edu/research (accessed 2003); family information.